By Cacinda Maloney
In October 2013, I had the opportunity to yet again attend the Travel Blogger Exchange (TBEX), an international conference for writers, bloggers, photographers, tourism boards, PR people and people in the travel business. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it. Finally, I find people who think like I do, travel like I do and have the passion for travel that I have.
This year it was held in Dublin, Ireland. I had been in Ireland before, but never to the capitol city and it was such a great experience. This is one of the places in the world where, I believe, the people of the country make such a difference. The Irish are resilient, they are charming and talkative and will tell you things you need to know about their city and their country. I literally love the Irish people! I happened to be married to a Chileno-Irish/American man, so I may be a bit partial, but I do find them charming and sweet with the best English accents. Ireland is known as “The Land of One Thousand Welcomes” and I certainly agree.
To set the mood of arrival, I would love for you to listen and watch this video of the grand opening party of TBEX. The countries tourism boards that support TBEX literally lay out the red carpet for us and I for one enjoy the heck out of it!
In the video, you can actually see the grand opening party of TBEX, as well as some of my fellow bloggers and PR people. I immediately spied Stephen Oddo in the video of Walks of Italy, who was one of the first guys I met at TBEX Girona, Spain in 2012 and then there was Sara Robles of GoWithOh, who is awesome to work with and lights up a room when she walks in. Next up, the infamous JohnnyJet otherwise known to us as John DiScala. You can see that fun was had by all and it was held at the famous Guinness Storehouse, which is a must visit while in Dublin within itself!
You may have seen the video of this same song which has gone viral called ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avici, as it was sung in Gaelic, which is the language of the country. It is currently only being spoken by a minority of the Irish people.
"A country without a language is a country without a soul.” "Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam" ― Pádraig Pearse
In fact, very few people speak Gaelic even though it is mandatory for 13 years in the life of an Irish student. The problem is that the language isn’t taught as a living language, more like long poetry, similar to Latin. However, the Irish people are trying to bring back the language to the people. There is an Irish language school, Coláisete Lurgan outside of Galway where the students can only enroll in a course if they refrain from speaking English for the duration of the course! I think this is totally cool! Apparently singing to the lyrics of a popular song is very effective way to improve Gaelic.
So Lig mé saor ón suan 'tá orm.
"So free me from this slumber of mine."
While in Dublin, I was able to meet the famous writer, Don George, the Global Travel Editor of Lonely Planet! So exciting to meet those that have come before me. What a career he has had and I only hope to be half as great as he is at travel writing!
While in Dublin, I stayed in Temple Bar, and recommend it as an area to stay, as there are many things to do and see in this part of the city. The Cassidy Hotel was my home base that I found on the hotel booking website HRS. It is a great website to search for European hotels in various cities at reasonable rates. This area of Temple Bar has, of course, bars, but Irish Pubs are quite different than traditional bars at home in the USA.
They are decorated in brightly colored paints and are very lively and warm.
Sort of like Cheers, where “Everybody knows your name“!
I will be writing a series of blog posts about my time in Ireland, so stay tuned for trips south to Killarney National Park, the Dingle Peninsula, and Cork.
MORE THINGS TO DO IN IRELAND, FOLLOW THESE LINKS:
Disclaimer – My transportation to Dublin was provided by the #buonvivere blog tour in partnership with @21grammy, my accommodations were provided by HRS and my food was provided by FourSeasons Dublin PR and TBEX. Editorial control of the blog content remains in my grubby little hands!